Greetings! As the leaves light up the forests and the air starts to feel crisp and sharp, I want to extend the best of the season to you from all of us at Grapeview School District.
We are off to a great start to School Year 2017-2018. Our teachers and staff are busy working their educational magic upon the young people you so graciously share with us each day. As I visit the classrooms and other parts of our campus, I am impressed with the no-holds-barred commitment and dedication that our staff brings to their work of continuous improvement of learning and serving our students. And learning and school at Grapeview is fun! I was just in a classroom that was using a Dr. Seuss book to teach/support a dynamite science lesson!
We recently received state-wide validation and recognition for our efforts, by again being selected as a School of Distinction (see link elsewhere on this website) by the Center for Educational Excellence. This state-wide award is given to the top 5% of schools showing sustained academic growth over a five-year period. This is our second year in a row for the award, and we received special recognition for being one of only 6 schools in the state to have received this award four times (2007, 2010, 2016, 2017). The award is unique and respected in the educational community because it is the only state-wide award that evaluates both literacy and math to determine its nominees. Hats off to our excellent staff and Principal for this honor!
We are excited to report we are doing well in Science, as well as math. Our 8th graders last Spring had the highest Science scores in the state on the state required Measure of Student Progress, and our 5th graders were in the top 15 highest scores on the same science test. All of our science scores for that test were above the state average. On the state-wide Smarter Balance Assessment last Spring, our 3rd graders scored the highest in the state in math. Our staff is committed to achieving high scores again this year! While test scores are not the only measurement and indicator of learning that we use, it is great to see the hard work of our students. Our staff is dedicated to helping each and every student be successful, including students who are struggling in one content or another.
Grapeview School is also committed to healthy living, music, art, and drama, as these are equally as important areas for young people to help them grow into well-rounded citizens. It is always fascinating to me, as an old educator, to see how some students come alive and shine in drama or art, for example, where they may be struggling in more academic content areas. We want to provide every opportunity we can for our students to be successful. Speaking of music, you must come and see our Winter concerts on December 12 and 14! And in January our middle schoolers will be putting on a production of “Beauty and the Beast” that is not to be missed!
While we are proud and excited to be able to report our recognitions of success, it is also important to know how hard our staff works, every day, with every student to continue to help every student learn. Our staff is constantly monitoring a wide variety of data to inform their instruction to assure that every student succeeds. We use data and test scores as a starting point from which to grow, both for individual students, and also system-wide. We are “data-driven”, in the best, most positive sense of the word.
Please allow me to introduce a new Grapeview teacher! Ms. Helen Selgren-Lyman comes to us most recently from the Yakima School District and will be teaching the students in the new Third Grade classroom we added to address the large number of students in that grade level. Ms. Selgren-Lyman is an experienced and skilled teacher and will be an asset to our school. She will be taking over after Thanksgiving for long-term guest teacher Mr. Siptroth, whom we wish to thank for his excellent service until we could find a long-term teacher for the new class. Mr. Siptroth will be missed, and we wish him well.
Our Grapeview School District Board of Directors has a new face! Mr. Casey Breeze will be replacing Director Tim Gero in a few weeks. We welcome Mr. Breeze and fondly say goodbye to Mr. Gero. Mr. Gero has served the Board and the District with distinction. His efforts and time have been much appreciated by everyone, and our school is a better place for his time with us. Thanks, Director Gero!
I would like to invite you to stop by and visit. If you would like to catch me, I am usually here on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the coffee is always on! Come share a good book with me, or tell me how we can best serve your child. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-426-4921.
Thanks for the honor of serving you and the Grapeview School!